Phil Jackson will be a part of a NBA team next season, but not as a head coach. Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores announced late Thursday night that Jackson has agreed to serve in an advisory capacity during the team’s search for a coach.
ESPN.com has reported that Jackson’s role is an unpaid consultancy stemming from Jackson’s friendship with Gores. They also stated that this position “does not foreclose any options” with regard to Jackson’s intentions of finding a new full-time NBA management job.
Earlier in the week, multiple reports came out saying that the Toronto Raptors were heavily pursuing Jackson to run their basketball operations. The San Francisco Chronicle also reported in a recent interview with Jackson, that a handful of teams have expressed interest in Jackson, but none of them involve a coaching position.
Jackson’s arrangement with the Pistons, according to sources, is a pure “act of friendship.” Former New York Knicks and Utah Jazz executive Dave Checketts previously served as a Pistons adviser to Gores without officially joining team management.
It should be interesting to see who the Pistons will go after now as their next head coach. Lawrence Frank was fired after the season ended, and the team has already interviewed Nate McMillan and Lindsey Hunter for the position.